Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Steve Euvino

2/24/2006 (9 years ago)

Catholic News Service (

HAMMOND, Ind. - Things are heating up in the kitchen at the Albertine Home here where the sisters are preparing for Lent in Polish culinary fashion. In a word, that's paczki.

NUN FILLS PRE-LENTEN PASTRY – Sister Patrycja Bryniarska fills paczki dough with jelly at the Albertine Home in Hammond, Ind., Feb. 23. The traditional Polish pastries are said to have come about as a way to do away with rich ingredients that could not be consumed during Lent. (CNS photo/Northwest Indiana Catholic)

NUN FILLS PRE-LENTEN PASTRY – Sister Patrycja Bryniarska fills paczki dough with jelly at the Albertine Home in Hammond, Ind., Feb. 23. The traditional Polish pastries are said to have come about as a way to do away with rich ingredients that could not be consumed during Lent. (CNS photo/Northwest Indiana Catholic)


By Steve Euvino

Catholic News Service (

2/24/2006 (9 years ago)

Published in Home & Food

A pastry associated with pre-Lenten activities, paczki are very popular with the Albertines, and Sister Patrycja Bryniarska is the unofficial "pro" at making them. She came to this country several years ago from Poland. Having learned cooking from other sisters, Sister Patrycja is now in charge when it comes to paczki. Working with Sister Donata Stachowiak as her interpreter, Sister Patrycja told the Northwest Indiana Catholic, newspaper for the Diocese of Gary, that paczki are not just for "fat Tuesday," the day before Ash Wednesday. That, the sisters said, is more of an American tradition. In their native Poland, paczki are prepared on the previous Thursday. So, in keeping with the traditions of two paczki-loving countries, Sister Patrycja may make up to 100 on each of two days. "No one knows how this tradition got started," said Sister Donata, noting that paczki may go back to the 17th century. According to one account, religious Poles, knowing that they had to give up all their favorite foods for Lent but not wanting to let anything go to waste, took all the rich ingredients, mixed them in a batter, and came up with paczki. That story makes some sense to Sister Donata. She recalled that people in her native country would eat all they could just before Lent, because once Lent arrived, "they stopped celebrating." Back in the kitchen, Sister Patrycja had the batter ready and was waiting for it to rise to three times its original size. She starts with flour, sugar and eggs; mixes them; and then covers the batter to allow it to rise on its own - with the help of a well-heated kitchen. The entire process takes about two hours. "The most important part is to take time to prepare the dough," Sister Patrycja said. Sister stresses the need to make the dough "poofy." Otherwise, she said, the batter becomes "doughy." "You have to take time," Sister Patrycja said, adding, "The kitchen has to be warm, because the dough has to be warm." After the batter rises, Sister Patrycja then kneads the dough. About 40-50 minutes later she starts forming dough balls that become paczki. She will then add rose marmalade for filling. After adding a little vodka - to the batter, not the cook - she then places the balls in oil for frying. The alcohol, Sister Patrycja explained, keeps the grease in the cooking oil from saturating the paczki dough. Sister Patrycja fries the paczki until they are a light brown color. As to the filling, some people use chocolate, pudding, or jelly, and they have a specific means of getting the filling into the center. Sister Patrycja has "just her own way" of doing it, Sister Donata said. "You have to be very creative," said Sister Donata. Sister Patrycja recalled that while growing up in Poland, paczki were a real treat - something the children looked forward to every year. "Everyone (in Poland) has to eat at least one," Sister Donata said of paczki. That was not a problem at the Albertine Home, where residents were treated to two days of paczki - the Thursday and Tuesday prior to Lent - and where the sisters wouldn't think of selling their popular pastries. "It's a big treat here," said Sister Donata. "Sometimes the people ask for more than one." Copyright (c) 2006 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Copyright (c) 2007 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


More Home & Food

10 surprisingly easy pet hacks to change the way you think about life Watch

Image of We love our pets but sometimes keeping up with their maintenance can be challenging. How can we simplify this?


We all love our fuzzy, soft, rough, feathery, scaly, wet, interesting pets, but sometimes they can be high-maintenance. What are a few fast and easy ways to keep them happy without costing us our comfort, time and money? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  You've ... continue reading

3 surprising benefits to cooking with cast iron, and how to restore your pans to make better tasting food Watch

Image of Meals prepared in cast iron can be more nutritionally beneficial than others.


Cleaning, seasoning and maintaining cast iron cookware is important and can save you quite a bit of money. Cooking with cast iron pans and skillets is also a great way to get a healthy dose of iron, but what are the other benefits? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading

What you should eat to improve productivity and promote a healthy lifestyle Watch

Image of


Experts revealed the top 22 foods you should eat at work to improve your performance in the office.  MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Experts revealed why you should be eating beetroot, marmite and yogurt to keep your performance at work in top ... continue reading

Are you giving this to your kid? The worst fast food kid's meals Watch

Image of Eat This, Not That! investigates the best and worst fast food children's options (Alamy).


New York is considering a bill to limit the calorie count of fast food children's meals to only 500 calories. In an investigation conducted by Eat This, Not That! Magazine, meals served for kids in fast food chains go far above the limit.  MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading

Homeless grow large garden for food in Atlanta Watch

Image of A garden plot on the Metro Atlanta Task Force shelter roof.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Homeless people come together and plant a garden to provide food for a shelter in Atlanta. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Anita Beaty, executive director of Metro Atlanta Task Force told Atlanta Progressive News, "It is important to share and train residents in ... continue reading

Hilarious video captures American children taste-testing school lunches from around the world Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American children were filmed trying seven different foreign school lunches and most were met with disapproval. The video by quickly became viral, with over 200,000 views within 24 hours. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Common school lunches from ... continue reading

Are chilies the new super food? Study finds the pepper can help with weight loss Watch

Image of Chilies are linked with weight loss.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new health study found that chilies can help shed pounds. According to The Daily Mail, adding some fiery chilies to food can help stop overeating -which leads to obesity- by triggering a receptor in the stomach. Further research will be conducted to present a more ... continue reading

6 wonder foods that help you lose weight and not feel hungry Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is highly recommended to eat nutrient and fiber-rich food and avoid carbohydrates when trying to speed up metabolism, as advised by Nutritionist Frida Harju in an interview with Daily Mail. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Food is not really the main ... continue reading

'Wireless Armour': New underwear go on sale to protect men's fertility from 'harmful wireless signals'

Image of


Although studies are still to be conducted to establish a strong relationship between electromagnetic radiation through phones and other similar devices and fertility, a line of boxer underwear has been launched linked with this concern. The "Wireless Armour" boxers ... continue reading

Have you been cooking your food wrong? Weight-loss expert reveals the 'healthy way' of cooking popular foods Watch

Image of


The way we cook food affects our health, not only the food we eat. Dietitian and weight-loss expert Sophie Claessens shared some tips on proper preparation of different foods for health benefits, as cited in The Daily Mail. To ensure we are consuming good food, the ... continue reading

All Home & Food News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More